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Nago City symbol suffers danger

Date Posted: 2004-08-12

Himpun Kajimaru, a huge 300-year-old banyan tree located at the center of Nago City, is in danger of falling down.

Nago City officials wanting to preserve the symbol of the city have built supports around the tree, and are urgently consulting with experts on how to fix the problem.

The tree began leaning slightly after it was hit by a strong typhoon two years ago.

The banyan tree, which is on the National Natural Monument List, is 20 meters tall and is 30 meters in diameter. Four large support pillars are propping the mammoth tree in place to keep its southwestward tip from getting worse.

Officials describe the situation as “serious” and are working with the Nago City Board of Education to place additional support wires. Plans for planting other vegetation around the banyan tree have been called off to provide additional nutrients for the tree.

A tree doctor, Kishimoto Yukimasa, says “It looks alright now, at least, but we never know how the roots are spreading, and where the roots are growing, and whether there is any damage to the roots.”

He says there’s a need for “more investigation, and for that, we have to have a budget or someone to subsidize the money too.” Kishimoto says the goal is to help the tree survive, and that it’s up to Nago City citizens to lend their support.

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